We had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with the brand new Scott Meridian fly rod starting way back in the days when it was secretly known as “Project S”. Scott has dubbed it a softer rod with a faster recovery. It does that and then some.
It's a Scott. That means you're getting top quality workmanship. It's got top quality titanium guides along with their trademark unsanded fast action blank. The marketing department claims that they changed the shape of the fighting butt, but I didn't notice it. It had the standard, comfy, Full Wells cork handle that has become synonymous with saltwater fly rods. The rod also has an aircraft grade aluminum reel seat, SiC rings in full titanium frames, and Recoil nickel titanium snake guides. Titanium guides provide corrosion resistance on the water. The reel seat also has lock rings that keep the reel in place and are easy to lock with wet hands. And of course, built from "beginning to end" in Montrose, Colorado.
The 8wt Meridian weighed in at 3.8 ounces, which is on the lighter end of the saltwater spectrum, but what we really liked was how light it felt while casting. It wasn’t quite as light as my Proaxis one-piece, but it makes the Loomis feel like a 7-iron.
A lot of people associate saltwater fly rods with distance. When you’re fishing for stripers, that makes a lot of sense, but when you’re on a flat stalking bones, you’re unlikely to make a cast over 50’, because you just can’t see that far. Nevertheless, the Meridian definitely has some power, just not as much as say the Sage Method.
The Meridian is one of the most accurate fly rods I’ve ever cast in close to mid distances. At 30’ and 50’ it’s just a laser when paired with the Chard taper. Out at 70’ it’s still great, but it’s clearly a rod focused on the more useful fishing distances.
The Meridian is a fast rod, but not a really fast rod. When paired with the right line (again, Chard taper), it provided an enormous amount of feedback (aka feel), yet recovered fast enough to launch into the wind. With a fish on, the Meridian has enough power in the butt section to bring in even that larger than expected “baby” tarpon.
The Meridian is covered by Scott’s lifetime warranty.
I feel like this review is as much a testament to how awesome Airflo’s Chard taper is, as it is to the Scott Meridian. Over about 10 days in Florida, we caught snook, redfish, tarpon, and even peacock bass on it. We were able to make many “how did I even do that” casts under mangroves that produced more snook than we could have managed otherwise. So, does it de-throne the NRX? Yes and no… I think the NRX is still a better rod for someone looking to cast every kind of line on one rod. But for flats fishing (except for really spooky bonefishing) it’s a much better choice for most anglers.
Chard’s Tropical Punch is a must have on this rod. It likes to have some weight out front.